Lester Young’s Birthday and News of a Rare Recording

Today marks the 109th birthday of tenor saxophonist Lester Young, the first so-called modernist instrumental stylist in jazz. His playing and hip, creative use of musician’s jargon is admired for breaking from the prevailing saxophone style of Coleman Hawkins. In his classic recordings with Count Basie’s Orchestra, Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and others, he demonstrated […]

Happy Birthday Abbey!

Today marks the birthday of singer, songwriter, actress, and political activist Abbey Lincoln (Anna Marie Wooldridge August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010). One of many singers influenced by Billie Holiday, she made her breakthrough in 1956 with her first recording, Abbey Lincoln’s Affair, and her appearance in the film The Girl Can’t Help It. Though she […]

Happy Birthday Billy!

A deep bow of respect for pianist, composer, bandleader and jazz activist Billy Taylor on what would be his 97th birthday. He was born in North Carolina but grew up in Washington, D.C. and studied with Henry Grant, who taught Duke Ellington a generation before. After moving to New York Taylor began working and recording […]

Monteverdi Turns the Big 450!

On May 9, 1567, one of music history’s most revered composers was born – Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi. To look at the whole of Monteverdi’s exquisite compositional output is to understand the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque era in music. Some of the most exciting early printings in our collections include early editions […]

Ella on Her 100th Birthday

  Tomorrow, April 25, marks the one and only Ella Fitzgerald’s 100th birthday. Fitzgerald’s impact on American music is undeniable, and her legacy and influence continue to inspire new generations of artists today. To celebrate the First Lady of Song on her special day, the Library’s Jazz Specialist Larry Appelbaum will give a talk tomorrow […]

Happy Birthday Gerry Mulligan!

Legendary saxophone player Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) would have turned 90 today (April 6th)! In commemoration of his birthday and Jazz Appreciation Month, we invite you to explore the Gerry Mulligan Collection at the Library of Congress. Below are links to the collection finding aid, articles, and some fun digital resources. If you have any reference […]

Happy Birthday to “Little Mozart”

The Music Division is home to some magnificent Mozart manuscripts, from his Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219, to a handwritten letter from 14 year-old Wolfgang to his sister Nannerl, to his revered Gran Partita. In addition to these (fully digitized!) Mozart manuscripts, our collections also feature reflections and commentary on the […]

Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial with Music

Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! The National Park Service was founded 100 years ago on August 25, 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson. Reporting to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Park Service protects and makes accessible hundreds of historic sites, monuments, parks, and recreation areas throughout the United States and […]

2016-2017 Concerts from the Library of Congress Season

The moment you’ve been waiting for has arrived! We are pleased to announce the 2016-2017 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress, which builds on our continuing mission: to give the music on the shelves of the Library a living voice, and let the people hear it. You can read the season announcement press […]